Atlanta’s ‘Stop Cop City’ Appeal Denied As Petition Holds Close To 80K Signatures
Here’s another victory for Atlanta’s “Stop Cop City” activists.
A federal judge denied the city of Atlanta’s appeal trying to pause the “Stop Cop City” referendum petition drive, Rough Draft Atlanta reported. Organizers with the Vote to Stop Cop City coalition claim they have gathered close to 80,000 signatures – more than its original goal of 70,000 announced at the start of the campaign in June.
U.S. District Court Judge Mark H. Cohen denied the city’s appeal from his previous ruling to allow people who live outside the city to collect signatures as part of the petition campaign. His decision was in response to a lawsuit filed by DeKalb County residents claiming their First Amendments rights were being violated due to the requirements allowing only Atlanta residents to collect signatures for the referendum. In Cohen’s order, he said that “the City’s concern about this Court’s Preliminary Injunction Order causing ‘hassle, confusion, and expense’ because of the potential invalidity of the petition is no different than what would have occurred without the injunction.”
The new referendum would allow city residents to vote “yes” or “no” to repeal the city’s ordinance authorizing the leased property to house the new construction for the Atlanta Police Foundation training center. The coalition group says it will continue to collect as many signatures as it can, with the end goal being 100,000.
The petition will then be given to the city on August 21, the deadline the group needs to meet in order to have the proposed referendum on the November ballot.
We will be submitting our signatures to the City of Atlanta Clerk on MONDAY, August 21st. Thanks to the tireless work of EVERYONE who has pounded the pavement, we have already collected nearly 80,000 signatures! #stopcopcity pic.twitter.com/2ev1d6kCa8
— Vote to Stop Cop City (@CopCityVote) August 13, 2023
According to Fox News, the organizers technically only needed 58,203 signatures by August 14 to qualify for the ballot, but they are setting a higher goal as they realize some signatures will be disqualified.
Organizers have battled against Atlanta’s Mayor Andre Dickens and the city council as they fear the training center will lead to greater conflicts between the police and the Black community.